Call for Volunteers for Coppicing and Woodland Ecology Survey

Protecting native woodlands is regarded as crucial in the fight against climate change. Our community is very fortunate to have an ancient woodland on its doorstep, Birchanger Wood. The trust that manages the wood was originally set up to end encroachment by housing and preserve it as “green lungs” in an area dominated by the M11 motorway and an international airport.

Birchanger Wood Trust chair Michael Nolan, getting hands-on in woodland management

The wood can only be properly managed with the help of volunteers and support from the community. Over recent months, residents have bought our seasoned firewood, while the Stort Valley Rotary Club and the Premier Court Care Home in Thorley have kindly donated funds to help support the maintenance and improvement of the woodland.

Birchanger Wood warden Pat Forrest

Yet, nothing could happen without the involvement of our team of volunteers, led by our warden Pat Forrest – a man whose name well suits his lifelong commitment to environmental conservation at Birchanger Wood. Every Saturday during the coppice season, they are active in coppicing trees – a sustainable way of managing trees, which regrow and provide the firewood that funds our operations.

However, we are always in need of more members of the team and would warmly welcome people who are prepared to be hands-on. If you are interested in conservation volunteering – even just an hour or two on a Saturday – please go to the compound next to the water tower on Heath Row, Bishop’s Stortford.

Meanwhile, local ecologist and science educator Jono Forgham has been documenting all the species in the wood. He is calling for community involvement in a year-long study of the wood and its natural history by recording the tree species, birds, mammals, insects, arachnids, plants and fungi. He will be visiting two to three times a week with moth trap nights on a weekly basis and would like anyone who is interested, no matter their experience, to join him. If you would like to be involved then please contact him at or text him on 07805571551.

A young conservationist helping to collect wood from coppiced trees